For many people, plants are an important part of home décor. However, some plants are toxic to animals. If you are both a plant lover and a pet owner, it is critical to understand how to safeguard both.
Why do cats and dogs eat houseplants in the first place? Some say it is to soothe an upset stomach or aid in the digestion of hairballs, while others feel it is to correct a nutritional deficit. During play sessions, cats and dogs may chew on houseplants, attacking waving fronds as if they were a toy.
It’s tough to keep a houseplant away from a pet, and therefore, you have to be sure that any plants you cultivate in your house are non-toxic to animals.
Here are several houseplants that are definitely pet-friendly!
1. Mosaic Plant (Fittonia Albivenis)
The mosaic plant, also known as nerve plant, is a rainforest native with leaves that are bright pink and green, white and green, or green and red, with variegated veining.
A mosaic plant should be kept in a warm environment, away from drafts and cold or hot water. It likes bright, indirect light (think north- or east-facing windows) or light filtered by a curtain; it cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Maintain a consistent temperature of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for fittonia and keep it away from drafty areas—cold gusts can be fatal.
You need to keep the soil consistently moist, making sure that it is not too wet. Your mosaic plant will wilt when thirsty, so don’t wait too long between watering sessions. At the same time, make sure you don’t overwater the plant.
2. African Violets
African violets are native to East Africa, as their name indicates. The genus was given the name Saintpaulia; however, the plants were recently reclassified into a new genus, Streptocarpus. This means that, despite their popular name, and the fact that they produce violet-colored blossoms, they are not actually violets.
According to the ASPCA’s Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants website, African violets are non-toxic to inquisitive cats, dogs, and horses. This knowledge should give pet parents peace of mind, especially if there is an inquisitive cat around that likes the flavor of this attractive little plant.
African violets require bright, indirect light. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight. Although the plant thrives in warm temperatures, at 65 degrees Fahrenheit or above, some tolerate lower temperatures. Nevertheless, in winter, keep them away from drafty windows.
Keep the soil wet but not soggy since the fragile stems of African violets are prone to decay if overwatered. Chilled water might leave markings on the leaves, so use room-temperature water instead. Avoid getting water on the leaves because this may lead to rot and fungal patches.
3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Despite their creepy-crawly name, Spider plants are among the most popular houseplants to cultivate. They are safe for dogs and cats. Rosettes of thin, softly arching leaves may grow to a length of 12 to 18 inches. The leaves are usually green or green and white striped. Long stalks with little star-shaped blooms are routinely sent forth by mature plants. A little fruit grows after the blooms are fertilized.
Because of its cascading leaves and long stems with plantlets, spider plants are often planted in hanging pots. They’re also stunning when planted atop columns. Spider plants tend to thrive in mild shade outside. They can tolerate a lot of shade, but their development will be stunted.
Spider plants like soil that is somewhat damp but not saturated. Overwatering may lead to root rot, which can eventually destroy the plant. So, the most time-consuming aspect of spider plant maintenance is sticking to a regular watering routine.
4. Prayer Plant
The popular name for the prayer plant comes from the fact that its leaves are flat during the day and fold up like prayer hands at night.
Because of its stunning ornamental leaves, the prayer plant is one of the most easily identified tropicals. Deep green, velvety leaves with yellow splotches along the midrib and arching red veins running to the leaf edges characterize the popular tricolor variety. The prayer plant is a slow-growing indoor plant that may reach one foot in height.
Prayer plants are low-growing, spreading plants that flourish best in greenhouse-like settings with lots of fertilizer and warm, moist, soft airflow. Your prayer plant should be hung or placed near a window to obtain indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight will burn its leaves, causing them to develop blotches or spots and fading in color intensity.
As long as the soil is well-draining, prayer plants may thrive in a range of conditions. Water your prayer plant often (whenever the top layer gets dry) and never let the potting soil dry up entirely. Drought-susceptible, these plants will not thrive if left unwatered for lengthy periods of time.
The prayer plant is entirely non-toxic.
5. Boston Ferns
When Boston ferns are hung from the rafters or ceiling, they breathe life into sunrooms, bright kitchens, guest rooms, and porches. With proper care, a Boston fern and certain other ferns will grow for many years. It is very safe for cats and dogs.
A Boston fern thrives in bright, diffused light. Morning sun is acceptable, but afternoon sunshine may scorch the fronds.
Keep the soil moist; Boston ferns should be watered on a regular basis. Picking up the container is an excellent technique to see whether the plants need water: It needs to be watered if it’s light; if it’s heavy, it’s alright.
During the summer, ferns that are grown outside often need watering in the morning and evening.
6. Baby’s Tears (Soleirolia Soleirolii)
Baby’s tears is a plant that resembles a lush carpet, is pet-safe, and is very simple to cultivate. It is a tropical perennial with a plethora of small leaflets that form a carpet. It belongs to the nettle family and is often mistaken for moss.
The thick, delicate mat of fine round or bean-shaped leaves on short, fleshy stalks distinguishes this particular plant. It grows well in low-light environments and is popular in terrariums and mixed containers.
Baby’s Tear plants detest direct sunlight since it might burn their leaves. In strong, filtered light, they appear their finest. Use a rich soil treated with humus, compost, or manure to help regulate the plant moisture level.
Be diligent about watering your baby’s tears. Allowing the plant to dry out can cause it to wilt dramatically. If you provide water as soon as you detect sign of wilting, it should recover within a day.
7. Friendship Plant (Pilea Involucrata)
Another popular indoor plant that is suitable for dogs is the friendship plant, also known as the moon valley plant. It’s a bushy, fast-growing shrub with golden veins and brilliant green leaves.
This tropical plant thrives in moderate temperatures and steady humidity, and it has few additional requirements. It grows to a height of around 6 inches; a few plants reach 12 inches.
Under ideal conditions, which include several hours of bright light every day, you may be rewarded with delicate pink blossoms on this tiny gem of a plant.
Keep the soil evenly damp. When the plant is dormant in the winter, keep the soil a bit drier and wait until spring to fertilize. From spring until summer, use a liquid plant food diluted by half weekly.